L Venugopal (popularly known as Lakshmi Venugopal) is a name that needs little introduction in the Telugu media fraternity. For decades, his credibility as a journalist, author, blogger, among others, has remained intact. His acute understanding of media management for nearly 30 years has been unshaken.
Known for his prolific works, L Venugopal has contributed to several weeklies, magazines and newspapers across a wide range of subjects over the decades. In the public relations space in Telugu cinema, his authority is second to none, having associated with the creme de la creme of the industry - including major stars, directors and various reputed production houses.
Career as a journalist with rare knowledge:
Venugopal's career took off as a film in a vernacular socio-political weekly Suprabhatam in 1992 and he has never had to look back ever since. In the later part of the decade, he went on to work with film magazines like Bulli Tera, Super Hit and Meghasandesam (founded by reputed filmmaker Late Dasari Narayana Rao). His next stint was at the popular Telugu newspaper Andhra Jyothi, after which he made his presence felt in the Telugu edition of the national magazine, India Today, contributing many well-written stories as a freelancer.
Becoming a PRO and manager:
In the meanwhile, he forayed into the public relations space in Telugu cinema in 1995 and gradually cemented his position in the industry as a noted media manager. He has worked as a press relations officer (PRO) for yesteryear legend Akkineni Nageswara Rao, current-day stars Megastar Chiranjeevi, Akkineni Nagarjuna and Venkatesh, to name a few. His association extends to other popular actors like Prakash Raj, Rajasekhar, Jr NTR, Uday Kiran, Tarun, Sumanth, Jayam Ravi, Venu and Happy Days-fame Rahul as well.
Among the directors too, Venugopal is a hot-favourite as a PRO. Well, the names say it all. He has played an integral role in managing the media presence of filmmakers like Krishna Vamsy, Neelakanta, Tammareddy Bharadwaj, Vijaya Bhaskar, Trivikram Srinivas, Mohan Raja, Sreenu Vaitla, Sekhar Kammula, Kodi Ramakrishna, Mohana Krishna Indraganti, B Gopal, Muthyala Subbaiah, Suresh Krrisna, B Gopal, Karunakaran and Chandrasekhar Yeleti, to name a few.
Association with noted production houses:
Some of the production houses and organisations where he has had a long-standing association include Usha Kiran Movies (Ramoji Rao), Ramoji Film City, Anjana Productions (founded by actor, producer Naga Babu), Chiranjeevi Charitable Trust, Geetha Arts (Allu Aravind), Annapurna Studio, ML Movie Arts (Editor Mohan), Suresh Productions, Anandi Arts, Gemini Film Circuit, SSC Arts, Sri Ranjith Movies, People Media Factory, Haarika and Haasine Creations, North Star Entertainment, Sithara Entertainments, Fortune4Cinemas, Y Not Studios, Adhiroh Creative Signs, Mega Surya Production and Pawan Kalyan Creative works.
An unstoppable stint as a credible PRO, film researcher:
And that's not all, he has over 500 films to his credit as a PRO. His contributions in this space haven't gone unnoticed; he was honoured as the best PRO with an award by the esteemed organization Vamsi International in 2005. One of the most significant chapters in his career in the media is the publication of Taramaniharam, an encyclopedia of Telugu cinema tracing the history of the industry since 80 years of its inception, for which he had collaborated with his former colleagues at Andhra Jyothi.
An Editor, Publisher in his own right:
He has left his imprint in the digital space as well, managing two movie-based portals that serve as a database for anything and everything in Telugu cinema. For the benefit of the media fraternity, his website www.venugopalpro.com publishes every story pertaining to the movies, production houses and personalities, with whom he's associated as a PRO. With this website, he has made valuable information about movies widely accessible to the public and journalists, serving as a perfect bridge between the film industry and audiences. He's the only PRO in the Telugu film industry to have taken such a step and it has proved to be a treasure trove for netizens. Needless to say, this endeavour elicited a lot of interest from the media fraternity.
His other portal telugucinemacharitra.com is a digital encyclopedia of sorts, serving as a ready-reckoner and a guide that offers rarely documented insights into Telugu cinema and its rich history. Several media personalities consider Telugu Cinema Charitra an important reference point in their work for research on popular personalities, films on a regular basis. Venugopal has selflessly dedicated a lot of time to putting together information about Telugu cinema, right from the 1930s to the present. He aptly puts it, 'everyone has a right to history' and adds that the various difficulties he had experienced in gathering information related to Telugu cinema origins motivated him to start the portal for the benefit of one and all.
A tryst with the postal stamp:
Venugopal has his name etched in history for another reason - he had his picture printed on a postal stamp, making use of an interesting move by the government to maximise the popularity of the postal services among the masses. He is probably the first Telugu media person to have a postal stamp with his image and this incident received widespread media coverage and interest among film circles.
The rise continues...
What explains his unmatched professional success? It's his professionalism, discipline towards his work, thorough understanding of the inner workings in the film industry and vast experience in the media sector. Today, he enjoys the goodwill of the biggest names in the tinsel town and a lion's share of that credit goes to his work ethic.